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Welcome to the Non-Humans

Dernière mise à jour : 18 avr. 2022

In his brilliant essay entitled Demain, les post-humains, Le futur a-t-il encore besoin de nous ? (Tomorrow, the post-humans. Does the future still need us?, 2010) Jean-Michel Besnier analyses in depth the postulates and philosophical implications of what he calls post-humanism. The French philosopher believes that the spread of certain transhumanist ideas and fantasies makes the advent of a post-humanity possible. According to him, the foundations of this post-humanity would be based not only on the material progress of new technologies (such as AI), biotechnology and cybernetics but also on a new ethical framework. This highly sophisticated ethics would have to go beyond the human space and would concern an enlarged humanity, capable of including animals, robots and cyborgs. Post-humanist philosophy embraces the aspiration of the non-human to enjoy an ontological dignity, which traditional anthropocentrism denied it. From this point of view, technology is no longer opposed to ethics: on the contrary, it promotes it. By abandoning the old metaphysics, morality or religion, human beings, freed from their egoism, anthropocentrism and individualism, can welcome the presence, within their existential environment, of animals and machines (and why not aliens). Moreover, post-humanism is an asceticism that requires the transformation of the human body, its hybridization with animals and machines (borders no longer existing) or even its annihilation (thanks to the progress of cybernetics).

Is it a radical and quasi-mystical mutation of humanity that the future promises to bring ?

Will humanity give birth to a new species, will it give way to robots and cyborgs, will it abdicate its rights in accordance with the demands of environmental activism ? Is not humanity, in the form we know it, destined to disappear ? Some futurologists predict a new race of human beings, asexual and immortal, having overcome individuality and separation. Post-humanism is not foreign to our ethical concerns, it exacerbates the philosophical demands that push us to welcome as an alter ego beings that do not belong to our horizon of meaning (axiological and cognitive) or our definition of humanity.

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